Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Kathy Parsons

By | Reviews

Here is a Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Kathy Parsons at MainlyPiano.com:

Tomorrow’s Daydream is the fourth album from SF Bay Area pianist/composer Brian Kelly. Although the album was just released, it has already garnered two silver medals from the 2018 Global Music Awards – one for “Album” and one for “Instrumental Performance, Solo.” I’m sure the awards won’t stop there as this is an outstanding album! All eleven tracks are original piano solos that reflect Kelly’s diverse music background. He started his piano studies at the age of 8, going on to study composition, improvisation and jazz piano through college and beyond. He also has extensive experience as a stage actor and singer. Strong jazz and classical elements are apparent in the music on Tomorrow’s Daydream, as are gospel, pop and rock influences that blend to create a sound that is uniquely his own. I should also mention that Brian Kelly has the chops to express pretty much anything he chooses with ease. “The boy can play!”

Kelly’s 2015 release, Butterfly Rapture, won and was nominated for several awards and is currently nominated for Best Solo Piano Album in the 2018 Enlightened Piano Radio Awards to be presented in Berlin in October 2018. Kelly’s first album, Pools of Light, was released in 2004 and was named “One of the Best Albums of the Decade” by this reviewer.

Tomorrow’s Daydream opens with the title track, a piece that starts out at a leisurely pace and gradually becomes livelier while maintaining a relaxed feeling. The energetic “Tracing Rainbows” expresses a magical excitement wrapped in swirling colors and joyful exuberance – a favorite! “Dancing With the Moon” begins with a Baroque-sounding intro that becomes beautifully delicate and almost fragile, gradually building to an expressive peak before returning to the softer theme. Near the end of the piece, Kelly inserts a passage that sounds almost like a harp – wow! “Our Own Window” is smooth jazz with a slight edge – cool, relaxed and very graceful. “Daffodil Hill” is another favorite with its joie de vivre spirit and carefree innocence. I feel exactly like this when the daffodils start opening in the early spring and a whole hill covered with them is almost euphoric! “Meant to Fly” takes a poignant, bittersweet turn that is as beautiful as it is emotional – another favorite. “Iris Blue” makes me think of dancers in filmy blue dresses gracefully welcoming the promise of spring – I really like this one, too! “Journey Home” begins with a simple melody that seems to have its soulful roots in gospel music, gradually building more complexity and then returning to the simplicity of the opening passage. “All of Thee Above” has a gentle, uplifting energy that is unhurried and free. The spirited “Secret Look” overflows with unbridled happiness – also a favorite. “Before You Go” closes the album in a more classical style that is both elegant and emotionally powerful – a fitting end to a great album.

Tomorrow’s Daydream is excellent from the first note to the last and I hope it will bring Brian Kelly the attention he and his music so richly deserve. The album is available from www.BrianKelly.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!

Kathy Parsons – MainlyPiano.com


Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Vivek Kumar

By | Reviews

Here is a Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Vivek Kumar:

A very vibrant kind of music and definitely one of the few albums that I would place on the top shelf! There’s a lot of promise, variety, and novelty in the album. If you love listening to solo piano, this should be an easy choice for you.

There’s a kind of freshness in the songs, and I like the different moods that the artist has tried to bring in, presenting a visual imagery of the song’s theme with sound.

The first two songs are my favorite–they just carry a unique rhythm which I could easily relate to and feel connected immediately.

There are 11 tracks on the album and Brian has tried to offer different textures to the listener.

The control, the innovative approach and the dexterity of the fingers are audible at various places throughout the album–no wonder that Brian’s previous music has also been licensed for various purposes and was received with much admiration.

This is the first time I heard his music but I could easily recognize the ease with which he approaches his music–a clear demonstration of his mastery and skill. There’s a certain level of accomplishment for an artist, which once reached, becomes visible (or audible in this case) in the creation and the work of art separates itself from the rest. Brian clearly has reached that level.

I will say the album is worth if you choose to spend your time and money.

Congratulations to Brian for bringing out this collection and sharing his gifts with the world.


Tomorrow’s Daydream wins two 2018 Global Music Awards

By | Awards

Tomorrow's Daydream by composer Brian Kelly wins two silver medals in the 2018 Global Music Awards.TOMORROW’S DAYDREAM, the new solo piano album by composer Brian Kelly, has just won two Silver Medals in the 2018 Global Music Awards: one for Album, the other for Instrumental Performance Solo! Many thanks to Gary Mankin (engineer of 5 Grammy-nominated albums) for mixing and mastering my 4th album.

Tomorrow’s Daydream may now be pre-ordered on iTunes, Amazon, and BandCamp. The album will be available on all major streaming services (Spotify, Tidal, Google Play, etc.) when it officially releases on March 16, 2018.

New Album Tomorrow’s Daydream Officially Releases March 16th

By | Recordings

Tomorrow's Daydream Brian Kelly CD ecowallet artworkMy fourth album, Tomorrow’s Daydream, will be released on March 16, 2018, which is my birthday!

This is an image of the art proof provided by the manufacturer (DiscMakers). The packaging is a 4-panel Eco-wallet with spine. I created the package design, incorporating a spectacular image by Adrian Borda and a photo of me taken last Fall by my lovely spouse on our trip to Vienna. I am in front of the piano in the apartment where Franz Schubert died. He actually played that piano!

16th Annual Independent Music Awards Judge

By | Awards

Independent Music Awards logoI will be a judge on the nominating panel for the 16th annual Independent Music Awards. This month I will be listening to about 70 instrumental music tracks (in my area of expertise). The nominees will be determined and announced in early February.

Brian Kelly is a First Prize Winner in the USA Songwriting Competition

By | Awards

Brian Kelly - USA Songwriter Competition 2016 - First Prize - Piano Escapade - InstrumentalWow! The 2016 USA Songwriting Competition awarded me First Prize in the Instrumental category for “Piano Escapade,” the opening track on Butterfly Rapture!! Congrats to the other First Prize Winners! http://www.songwriting.net/winners
https://web.archive.org/web/20161122215711/http://www.songwriting.net/winners

Cam Nacson (Dance/Electronica)
Jared Rabin (Folk)
TrEv LuKaThEr (Rock/Alternative)
Frank Raknes Schonberg (Lyrics Only)
Marlowe Stone (Children)
Jesse Blaze Snider & Freddy Scott (Novelty/Comedy)
Pinnacle TheHustler (Hip-Hop/Rap)
Paulina Aguirre (Latin)
Tiffany Smith (R&B)
Lisa Hilton (Jazz)
Terry Fator (Gospel/Inspirational)
Benjamin Furman Music (World)
Tim Gates, Brad Hull & Will Nance (Country)
Jerad Finck , David Hodges & Steven Solomon (Pop).

Butterfly Rapture Album Review from Reviews New Age

By | Reviews

Here is a review of my Butterfly Rapture solo piano album from Reviews New Age (translated from Spanish by C. Comella):

Butterfly Rapture cover 200It’s been a long time since we have received a solo piano album where joy and energy are present in the majority of the pieces.  Butterfly Rapture brings us the colorful and intense work of pianist and composer Brian Kelly, made up of twelve compositions that travel intensely between tenderness and boldness, and all embellished with the fleeting light touches of mastery.

Butterfly Rapture opens with my favorite piece, “Piano Escapade.” This composition integrates romanticism and hope in its notes, making it one of the most beautiful pieces on the entire CD. The intensity of the melody perfectly joins with the nexus of the notes and chords. Fantastic beginning!

“Room for Sky” is subtly more formal and reserved. Large arpeggios emanate from the left hand, while the right hand covers the keyboard with a rolling and striking melody. Another wonder from Butterfly Rapture.

Returning to Kelly’s musical warmth enters “Flowers at Her Feet”. This piece, together with others of equally brief duration are those that give character to Butterfly Rapture’s radiant energy and light. “Flowers at Her Feet” has a touch of improvisation that offers a masterful stroke to the track.

“Lilac Horizon” is subdued, the first song on the album that breaks the general profile, but in spite of this, it does not stop being an interesting and deep theme.

We return to the happiness that flows from Kelly’s hands. He presents “Chasing a Breeze,” another of the album’s exciting jewels, a theme that invites one to imagine the rapid movements of the pianist’s fingers on the keyboard. A delight!

The shortest of the compositions is sweet and sensitive, powerful to the point of drawing a pleasant smile on the listener. With a classical and minimalist touch, Spiral Moon is one of the delights that Butterfly Rapture displays.

“Hills in Bloom” is not as intense as some of the other earlier pieces, but it preserves that same joyful touch.

Brilliant introduction to “Niko’s Delight.” A stroke of dance, the chords accompany radiant notes that are born in the high end of the piano. “Niko’s Delight” gives us the instant affection and delicacy of Butterfly Rapture.

Again, with a romantic touch, appear exhilarating notes. “Playing My Heart” plays with silences, with the fleeting force of notes and chords, and shows us the most tender and sincere side of love. Beautiful!

“View from the Swing” is a musical game, a fun soundtrack. Slightly quick and yes very attractive in its melody, “View from the Swing” mixes melody and jazz touches with tremendous skill. Beguiling composition!

A moment for reflection comes from “Winter Aura.” The piece presents a very original dialogue between both hands, and continues a game between silence and notes of the most pure jazz style. “Winter Aura” is another of the album’s remarkable compositions.

The title track closes the CD. “Butterfly Rapture” is a romantic narration made from music. Like the soundtrack from an animated Disney story, “Butterfly Rapture” delights the senses. The changes in tempo, the melody, and the magic are spectacular. Great, Brian!

Mastery, hues, and harmonies are seen in the new work from pianist and composer Brian Kelly, a perfect display of piano filled with life, capable of invoking deep emotions within the listener. Butterfly Rapture is one of the best solo piano albums of the year, without doubt.

Butterfly Rapture Review from Ricky Kej

By | Reviews

Butterfly Rapture cover 200Very grateful to have received a generous 5-star review of Butterfly Rapture on Amazon from Grammy® winning composer Ricky Kej!

“What a beauty! The expressive piano speaks a language of utter serenity and tranquility and makes any day a special one! From the sparkling melody that Brian plays out so beautifully on the piano on “Butterfly Rapture” to the soaring “Room for Sky”….the stark beauty of “Winter Aura”, the ethereal melody of “Playing My Heart”….the seriously lovely “Hills in Bloom”…each track imparts a certain imagery that imprints it on one’s mind. Now I just close my eyes and visualize these tracks :-). Produced brilliantly, this music is as incandescent and colorful as a Butterfly’s wings :-) :-) :-)”

Brian Kelly at Grammy® Mixer in San Jose

By | Music

I had a great time at a Grammy® mixer event held at JJ’s Blues club in San Jose on Oct. 12, 2016 (organized by producer/engineer Michael Lazarus). I got to hang out with three great trumpet players, whose Contemporary Instrumental albums are on the 59th Grammy® Awards ballot this year. L-R: Jeff Oster (Live!), David Longoria (The Journey), Steffen Kuehn (Leap of Faith), Brian Kelly (Butterfly Rapture). Best of luck to all of us!
20161012-grammy-mixer-sanjose

Butterfly Rapture album review by Steve Sheppard

By | Reviews

Here is a review by Steve Sheppard (at One World Music) of my Butterfly Rapture album as posted on Amazon:

Brian Kelly - Butterfly Rapture album coverThere is nothing like starting the day with music and today I get to sample the delights of Butterfly Rapture by Brian Kelly. The album opens with the lively Piano Escapade, while the tempo is up-beat; there is a real up lifting segment cleverly woven into the composition that creates some beautiful imagery, this is very stylishly performed indeed.

Room for Sky, this is one of those pieces that seems to manifest an emotion all of its own, the performance is vast and whilst the tempo is up-beat, it also retains sense of longing and with only two tracks into the release, Brian Kelly has already shown us a very distinctive style, one that at times reminds me of Isadar.

The powerful beginning to the album continues, but this time using a wonderful picturesque performance of Flowers at her Feet. I guess my feelings and emotions are still with the loss of Keith Emerson, but on this piece Kelly’s style really reminds me of those magical moments when Keith became the incredible creator of solo segments for the band, this is a really stunning composition, and one of my favourites.

Now for something completely different and in fact this almost borders at times on the classical, we now hear a delightful track called Lilac Horizon. This piece is played so beautifully one can almost see fields of Lilac blowing in a gentle summer wind.

The next track fits well with the preceding one and is called Chasing a Breeze. However that gentle summer wind I referred to in my last paragraph has now become a frisky early morning Breeze, the energy and performance once more allows our imagination to create a picturesque back drop, packed with vitality.

At the half way point we come across a piece called Spiral Moon, the beginning of this composition was so revealing, one could see the moon appear from a late night cloud and then starts beginning to emerge from the heat of the waning day.

It’s spring here in Cyprus; there is a glorious sense of colour everywhere and in this arrangement, Hills in Bloom, we see that very sense in the performance from Brian Kelly, this is one track that drifts back and forth as we take in this awe inspiring sight.

It’s time for a dedication, as we listen to Niko’s Delight, smooth and gentle tones are carefully and respectfully played, with an elevated sense of energy towards the latter part of the piece, which lead us right into the open arms of the next piece called Playing My Heart, this is one lush arrangement that is also incredibly sensitive and played from that heart centre, the performance is played with a meaningful intent, with a good deal of passion as well; a complex, but entirely captivating track this one.

View from the Swing, I love titles like this, makes me feel like I have walked into an art gallery and in a way I guess we have dear reader. Here is a track that seems to reinvent itself from memories past along the way and in a way could be seen as an anthem for happy childhood thoughts perhaps. Brian Kelly has a signature sound that is totally unique and one can really appreciate that most on this piece.

We now knock at the last but one door of the album Butterfly Rapture, and listen to the penultimate piece called Winter Aura; it does indeed feel like we have gone through all four seasons during this journey, I listened to this one several times and each time its mournful repose thrilled me, again Emerson in style, but creative beyond belief and so incredibly performed, manifesting a little winter magic with the wave of a hand and a build and progression of complexity like never before, perhaps we have a new genre, Progressive Piano?

The last port of call for us the title track itself, Butterfly Rapture. We end with the majesty and grace that the opportunity of a title track deserves, the melody is charming and the performance light, but yet again incredibly skillful and deeply thoughtful.

Butterfly Rapture is an album that crosses borders on several genres and even creates new ones, this is one of the most exciting and unique albums I have heard for quite some time and as such I can completely recommend Brian Kelly and Butterfly Rapture as an album you seriously should get as quick as possible.

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